DESIGN OF A PRETREATED BAGASSE BASED BIOGAS PLANT (A CASE STUDY OF SOUTH NYANZA SUGAR COMPANY)
Documentation : 

The relatively high population growth rate of Kenya coupled with increasing energy demand from the industrial and commercial sectors has contributed to a narrowing reserve margin in electricity supply. Bioenergy-based power generation is seen to have an important role to play in filling the energy supply gap

Inadequate energy supply in rural areas was one of the main challenges faced by rural dwellers in Kenya.Energy sources for cooking has become a big problem in rural setup due to over dependent on firewood as the main source energy. Currently the main available source of energy is electricity whose supply is inadequate and expensive hence cannot be afforded by majority of people living in rural areas.

The control of unutilized bagasse in the sugar factories has also become a big challenge as well since it releases methane to the atmosphere which a more dangerous greenhouse gas that carbon dioxide and it can also lead to a fire outbreak

The objective of this project was to design a pretreated sugarcane bagasse based biogas plant for South Nyanza Sugar Company in Migori County in Western Kenya. The specific objectives were to identify the pretreatment method to be used in converting bagasse to fermentable sugar, establish the amount of bagasse to be produced daily, model the expected cumulative volume of the biogas being produced after the anaerobic Digestion and identify the design specification for each unit of the plant.

The methodology involved site visit, data collection, Determination of the pretreatment method, sizing of system parameters and cost benefit analysis. During the site visit, the full survey of the area and its characteristics was carried out. Data collection involved; collection of data on amount of bagasse produced, amount of sugarcane milled and the population size in the area. The sizing of the system involved the determination of the gas produced daily, the sizing of the digester and the pipe selection

Mechanical pretreatment of bagasse was found to be the most economical and suitable for the production of biogas.  After the result analysis, it was established that about 300  of biogas from the mechanically pretreated bagasse when about 5000kg of pretreated bagasse if fed into the digester. Some of the factors that could affect rate of biogas production included temperature, pH retention time, Organic loading Rate etc. the design specifications for the plant were also established from the result analysis.

Bagasse is potential raw material for the production of biogas when pretreated using appropriate pretreatment method.

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